Month: January 2021

America First Credit Union Announces New EVP Chief Lending Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

America First Credit Union Announces New EVP Chief Lending Officer

Brett Christensen (left) takes over the role of EVP Chief Lending Officer as Randy Halley (right) retires after 43 years of service at America First Credit Union.

Riverdale, UT – January 12, 2021 – America First Credit Union welcomes Brett Christensen to its leadership team as EVP Chief Lending Officer for the leading nonprofit financial institution. He will oversee indirect lending, mortgages, consumer lending, business lending, home equity and sales.

Christensen is taking over this role from previous EVP Chief Retail and Lending Officer, Randy Halley, who is retiring after more than 43 years of service at America First Credit Union. Halley has been instrumental in developing key performance indicators for branch measurement, bringing machine learning to the credit union and driving the adoption of two critical operating systems for lending and transactions. He was also the visionary behind opening an innovation hub in downtown Salt Lake City, which has been toured by financial leaders from around the country and has provided an environment to test new banking solutions to measure efficiency and member adoption rates.

“We thank Randy for his incredible service to America First and its members,” said America First President and CEO John B. Lund. “It’s been an honor to work with him and see his vast contributions  to the credit union during his time here. I wish Randy the best in this next chapter.”

Stepping into this role with more than 28 years of credit union experience in both the U.S. and Canada, Christensen has been an industry leader working to educate and consult industry professionals on lending topics. Prior to America First, he served as the president of Loan Link Lending Center, was a senior consultant with Lending Solutions Consulting and most recently owned CU Lending Advice.

“We’re elated to add Brett to our leadership team,” said Linda Carver, America First Board Chair. “He has helped dozens of credit unions significantly improve their lending and sales results, and we’re honored to have his experience and expertise at America First. Brett is going to bring significant value to our members in this role.”

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 81 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $14.1 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,159,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801-913-9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

CEO Announces Retirement After 46 Years with America First Credit Union

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CEO Announces Retirement After 46 Years with America First Credit Union

Riverdale, Utah – Jan. 5, 2021 – John B. Lund, president and CEO of America First Credit Union in Riverdale, Utah, has announced plans to retire in the spring of 2021, more than 46 years after first joining the institution. Thayne Shaffer, the credit union’s chief information officer (CIO), has been selected as Lund’s successor.

Since Lund became president and CEO in 2012, America First Credit Union has expanded its branch network from 104 to 128, increased assets from $5.5 billion to $14.2 billion, and membership numbers increased from 592,309 to 1,159,227.

“John, a tremendous person and a profoundly esteemed leader, has shown acuity and keenness of thought in every decision he has made,” said Linda Carver, chair of the board of directors for America First. “He has had a remarkable ability to understand and position the credit union for new opportunities to assure our long-term and continued growth. We are grateful for the extraordinary contributions John has made to propel America First and the credit union industry forward.”

Lund, whose retirement is effective April 1, 2021, quickly rose through the ranks. Most recently, he served as executive vice president. He first started in 1975 as the credit union’s courier.

“It’s been an honor to work with so many talented people and serve so many kind members,” said Lund. “I am certain America First members and colleagues will continue to thrive under Thayne’s leadership, using teamwork to strengthen relationships and our communities.”

Shaffer has worked at the credit union for more than 33 years and was appointed CIO in May 2019. His recent responsibilities included cyber security, enterprise systems, programming, database administration, quality assurance, and network operations.

“I am excited for this opportunity and will focus on executing the strategic priorities that have been set,” said Shaffer.

Most recently, Shaffer was appointed to senior vice president and controller in 2014. Between 2009 and 2019, he supervised multiple mergers and, in 2018 and 2019, served as staff coordinator for the Enterprise Risk Management committee.

 

John B. Lund is retiring as president and CEO of America First Credit Union (left). He will be replaced by Thayne Shaffer, America First’s chief information officer (right).

 

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 81 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $14.1 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,159,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801-913-9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Strives for Strength Through Adversity

Dear Members,

I think it’s safe to say 2020 will stand as a year none of us will soon forget. As I considered the events, challenges, and obstacles we faced over the past 12 months, the poem ‘Good Timber’ by Douglas Malloch came to mind:

The tree that never had to fight

For sun and sky and air and light,

But stood out in the open plain

And always got its share of rain,

Never became a forest king

But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil

To gain and farm his patch of soil,

Who never had to win his share

Of sun and sky and light and air,

Never became a manly man

But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:

The stronger wind, the stronger trees;

The further sky, the greater length;

The more the storm, the more the strength.

By sun and cold, by rain and snow,

In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,

We find the patriarchs of both.

And they hold counsel with the stars

Whose broken branches show the scars

Of many winds and much of strife.

This is the common law of life.

Certainly, these difficult times brought us “many winds and much of strife.” However, in different ways, such experiences helped unify our communities and added a measure of compassion and understanding to the way we interact with one another. I’m grateful for the growth we achieved, the new things we discovered, the manner in which we learned to adapt, and the progress we are making.

I truly appreciate our outstanding volunteers and staff; we are fortunate to have such dedicated individuals who are committed to serving the membership, while exerting diligent efforts to keep each other and all who visit us safe.

My sincere thanks are offered to you, our members, for being patient and understanding as we continue navigating rough waters. I’m proud to say our credit union is stronger and smarter than ever. We are ready, willing, and able to meet your complete financial needs. The America First team strives to simplify a portion of your life and earning your valued loyalty. Our goal is working hard to develop & maintain a lasting relationship with you and those you love.

Sincerely,

John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer